Just one geek's opinions and epiphanies

#hackUTOS June 2010

[caption id="attachment_488" align="alignleft" width="320" caption="Ceiling Cat"]Ceiling Cat[/caption]

Ceiling Cat announces:

#hackUTOS is is happening tomorrow, Friday June 4th, at CoffeeConnection!

Here's how it works. #hackUTOS is a gathering of the hacking inclined. There is a main project (ConMan) that is being hacked on for the purpose of volunteering for Utah Open Source Conference 2010. More details on ConMan in a minute.

If you are looking to generally gather with geeks then this is the premier event in June for your geekiness! We will be gathering at CoffeeConnection who has great caffeinated beverages for sale (as well as food) and we will be getting our Geek on.

Want to get your geek on, but can't make it in person... we are going to be on IRC too! Find us on Freenode at #hackUTOS

If you are not interested in hacking on ConMan, we still encourage you to come on down! We want all geeks to come by and share in the glory of #hackUTOS. That means you can even bring your own project. Think of #hackUTOS as a Jelly or CoWork (for 1 night). Come share your project and your ideas, find people, network, and generally have a good time.

Now some details on ConMan!

ConMan is the Conference Management software used by UTOS for the UTOS Conference. It is written in Python, using the Django framework. It is hosted at GitHub and it is open to the public. If you don't hack python do not turn and run just yet. We are in need of things besides python coding. We need folks who are willing to conceptualize, we need graphic designers to help make the app look pretty, we need people to help with bug reporting, and more. If you are reading this blog post you are more than qualified to come help us tomorrow (and at any other #hackUTOS event).

Alright... I am tired of typing, and Ceiling cat is starting to freak me out... see you at #hackUTOS


Hey everyone!

It is time to do it again. Our monthly #hackUTOS

What is #hackUTOS?

UTOS has been sponsoring Open Source technologies in Utah for years now. This is a chance for all the members (and potential members) to come out meet some of the UTOS hackers including herlo, utahcon, and DexterTheDragon.

We will be hacking on ConMan, the Open Source Conference Management system used by UTOSC! This is a great chance for you to participate, learn,teach, and get credit toward attending the conference for a discounted price!

When is #hackUTOS?

We will be meeting Tuesday March 2nd, 2010 at 7:00PM MST.

Where is #hackUTOS?


Along with meeting in person (details below) you can find us online in IRC. We are on the Freenode network in #utos-dev


Since the meeting place worked out well last time we will be meeting again at the Salt Lake Coffee Connection.

Located at:

1588 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84115

The Salt Lake Coffee Connection is a really great place to meet. They have a great internet connection (provided by our good friends at Xmission), awesome drinks (check out the Dirty Chai!) and good food! The prices are good, and internet access is included with all purchases.

What Language?

ConMan is written in Python, using the Django framework. We run it on MySQL and SQLite databases.

Don't know Python, or Django? Don't worry, we are all open to helping you get started. Please realize we are here to mainly work on our project, we are happy to offer light support to get you up and running.

If you aren't interested in working on ConMan bring your own Open Source project! We would love to have you in the house for some great co-working!

Book Review: Expert Python Programming (PacktPub)

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="233" caption="Expert Python Programming by Tarek Ziade (PacktPub.com)"]Expert Python Programming by Tarek Ziade (PacktPub.com)[/caption]

Expert Python Programming was not what I was expecting to get from a book about Python. I am not a savvy python programmer yet, and in my quest to become one I picked this book up to read. It certainly is not for beginners, and I mean that. If you are not comfortable you may wish to skip it, if you are daring and have the basics of programming down then you can slip this one into your collection.

Tarek Ziade presents, for the most part, best practices and design patterns. Chapters 8 through 14 really are just that, explaining how to be a really great python programmer. From Test-driven design, to Optimization he covers all the bases and if the suggestions and steps are followed even the worst of programmers (no matter the language) could become an expert programmer.

Chapters 2 and 3 literally blew my mind, I mean that! The concepts aren't earth shattering, but they are really good and indepth. I am glad I had the chance to review the book and read those chapters as they gave me some great insight to the language of Python. 

Overall this book has really opened my eyes to the powers of Python and even more how to be a better programmer in general. Thanks Tarek!

You can pick up this novel of awesome at Amazon.com, or check out more details on the book at PacktPub.com.